Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Imagine your future self: Will it help you save money?

Date:
December 26, 2010
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Why do people choose present consumption over their long-term financial interests? A new study finds that consumers have trouble feeling connected to their future selves.

Why do people choose present consumption over their long-term financial interests? A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research finds that consumers have trouble feeling connected to their future selves.

Related Articles


"This willingness to forego money now and wait for future benefits is strongly affected by how connected we feel to our future self, who will ultimately benefit from the resources we save," write authors Daniel M. Bartels (Columbia Business School) and Oleg Urminsky (University of Chicago).

When we think of saving money for the future, the person we think of can seem different from the person we are now, the authors explain. People have trouble sacrificing in the present for that stranger in the future.

In one study, the researchers had graduating seniors read one of two narratives: the first indicated that their self-identity was already fully formed and would not change after graduation. The other passage indicated that graduation would change their self-identities. "When seniors were told that graduation would lead to major changes in identity, they reported feeling less connected to their future selves," the authors write. "Those thinking about changes in identity were also more impatient, choosing less-valuable gift certificates that would be available sooner over higher-valued gift certificates that required waiting a year."

In a subsequent study, the authors asked people to evaluate their sense of connectedness and similarity to their future selves. Three weeks later, they were asked them to choose between smaller gift cards they could use right away or larger gift cards that would require waiting. "Those who had felt more connected to their future selves then made more patient choices and were more willing to wait for a higher-valued gift card," the authors write.

When people fail to save for the future, they may not be making a mistake or failing to exercise self-discipline; they don't fully recognize benefits that their future selves will receive. "Countering this tendency, by helping people recognize the enduring aspects of their personal identity, may hold the key to making people more patient and more willing to sacrifice, save, and invest for the future," the authors conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Daniel M. Bartels, Oleg Urminsky. On Intertemporal Selfishness: How the Perceived Instability of Identity Underlies Impatient Consumption. Journal of Consumer Research, August 2011 [link]

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Imagine your future self: Will it help you save money?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101222112229.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2010, December 26). Imagine your future self: Will it help you save money?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101222112229.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Imagine your future self: Will it help you save money?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101222112229.htm (accessed April 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Be Careful, April Fools' Day Is Alive And Well

Be Careful, April Fools' Day Is Alive And Well

Newsy (Apr. 1, 2015) You’re going to want to double-check anything you see on the Internet today. If it sounds too good or too weird to be true, it probably is. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone have been busy fighting the menace created by the deadly Ebola virus, but illicit drug lords have taken advantage of the situation to advance the drug trade. Duration: 01:12 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Models in Masks Highlight Indonesian Environmental Devastation

Models in Masks Highlight Indonesian Environmental Devastation

AFP (Mar. 31, 2015) Wearing gas masks and designer dresses, models condemn the fashion industry&apos;s role in causing environmental devastation. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Future Of Japanese Whaling: Heritage Vs. Conservation

The Future Of Japanese Whaling: Heritage Vs. Conservation

Newsy (Mar. 30, 2015) In 2014, the International Court of Justice ruled Japan could no longer engage in whaling in the Antarctic, but Japan has plans to return this year. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins